Friday, Feb. 7th – Lincoln County
Summary: A professor of meteorology could have used the Central Coast for a lab exercise yesterday, with sessions on every type of Winter weather. We started the day with light snow, which in most areas became heavy shortly after daybreak. The north part of the county’s coastal strip got the least snow; Lincoln City had about an inch on the ground. Newport received 3 inches, and the southern section got the big dump with Waldport and Yachats around 6 inches. Melted precipitation totals and temperatures (below) reflect those differences. By early afternoon, the snow went to flurries and finally stopped entirely. But as the day wore on, freezing rain coated everything on the surface with a layer of ice. By late evening, there were flashes of lightening. Overnight the overcast eventually thinned, and temperatures dropped into the mid-20s; the ice and snow on the ground held firm. The sky was completely clear for a while early this morning, but by daybreak clouds were returning in advance of another round of Wintery weather. All Lincoln County Schools are closed today, as well as many other agencies and operations. Call ahead.
Past 24 Hours High/Low/Precipitation…
Lincoln City: 29F/24F/0.01”
Depoe Bay: 29F/23F/0.02”
Forecast: Winter Storm Warning. After vacillating late yesterday and last night with a full spread of weather advisories, watches and warnings, the National Weather Service early today issued another Winter Storm Warning for the Central Coast for heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain. This warning is in effect from 10:00am this morning to 10:00pm this evening. Snow will develop later this morning and become heavy at times, eventually changing to sleet or freezing rain this evening. Precipitation is expected to change to all rain by late tonight as temperatures rise above freezing. An additional 2 to 6 inches of snow and up to a quarter inch of ice or more are possible later today through tonight. Impacts of this weather will make travel treacherous on Central Coast streets, roads and highways this afternoon into tonight. Scattered power outages are likely as precipitation changes to freezing rain, bringing down tree limbs and possibly power lines.
Outlook is for all this to go away soon, probably by tomorrow when temperatures rise to 45F and rain washes the ice and snow away. A southwest storm track with warm, wet and sometimes windy weather is predicted for the entire week ahead.
Travel: Don’t. All roads, streets and highways in the Central Coast area, and all of Western Oregon, have varying amounts of ice or snow cover today. Driving will be extremely hazardous through tonight locally and through Sunday everywhere else west of the Cascades. Chains or traction tires are required in the mountains and on many other highways including Interstate 5 between Corvallis and Salem. Portland is a mess. The best advice from all quarters is to stay home unless your presence elsewhere is absolutely necessary. Highway crews have been plowing and sanding, but at times their limited resources have been unable to keep up.
Public transportation may not be very effective, either. The latest from Lincoln County Transit is, “Friday morning – all early routes are cancelled. Routes start late on Friday. The North County bus will leave Newport City Hall at 9:00am. Please call Lincoln County Transit at 541-265-4900 for start times for all other routes.”
Cascades Snow Pack… 70”, a gain of 2” since yesterday.
Marine: Travel on the ocean this morning is inherently easier than ashore, with ESE winds 10-15 knots and seas at 5 feet. As of 8:00am, Depoe Bay and Yaquina Bay bars are unrestricted. Today, the breeze is expected to come around to the SE 10-15 knots, seas 4-5 feet, though snow and freezing rain may be a complicating factor. Winds veer to SW 10-15 knots tonight, seas remaining 4-5 feet, with rain or snow. Tomorrow, SW wind about 10 knots, seas 5 feet. Outlook is for southerly weather in the early part of the week. S winds rise to 15-20 knots on Monday and to 25-30 knots with gale force gusts to 40 by Tuesday; seas building to 12-15 feet by mid-week.
On the Beach… Snow and ice, cold, surf 3 feet (low).
02/07 Fri 01:02 PM 1.35 L
02/07 Fri 07:33 PM 5.86 H
02/08 Sat 12:22 AM 3.59 L
02/08 Sat 06:52 AM 8.25 H
In Short: Snow, freezing rain, then wet and warmer.